Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DaveHodges-TheCommonSenseShow/~3/blAFy2UMSIw/
Steve Quayle has many sayings which are both clever and illustrative of various points of view. My favorite Quayle-ism is “What is coming is no longer coming, it is here”. Truer words were never spoken. And not only is Steve correct about the “it is here” observation, it can be accurately said that Steve was among a number of journalists that have told you for sometime what was coming and America did not listen. And now, we are paying a steep price for our ignorance and our collectivve arrogance.
In the following paragraphs, I detail a scant few of the predictions that predicted the dire times that we find ourselves in today. And at the end of this article, there is salvation, both literally and figuratively.
I previously interviewed the Health Ranger, Mike Adams, about the Trump phenomenon over nineteen months ago. Both of us were in full agreement that, unless Trump was assassinated, he would likely win the Presidency. The article and subsequent interview was published in March of 2016. At that point, the liberal left, including the government, the corporations and the media will launch domestic terror attacks against the American people which would be designed to destablize the country and lead to the breakup and occupation of the country.
Mike Adams and I agreed that America had not seen this much volatility since the Civil War in which the the liberal left (ie the banking cartels and the media we control) are not going to give up their kingdom. They will kill millions of Americans if they have to. Their Cloward and Piven as well as Rules for Radicals strategies that the globalists are following include starting World War III, launching a series of false flag attacks upon the people of the US and they will surely declare martial law and send millions to FEMA camps. The following is a stunning interview that needed to be circulated widely in March of 2016. The interview can be heard by clicking here.
Since that time, we have witnessed an ever-increasing rate of terrorism. Google’s obfuscation of the truth by controlling Youtube and 80% of Internet traffic due to the fact that Google controls that four out of five Internet searches, provides the most evil institution o the face of the earth to determine what people see, hear, read and ultimately think. The MSM have labled the Independent Media as “Russian spies”, while organizations like CNN and the Washington Post are controlled by the CIA and profit from their illicit drug running, gun running and child-sex-trafficking.
In the March 2016 interview, Mike Adams predicted that the media would become complicit in terrorism directed against the American people. Look at the behavior of the MSM along with Google, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter with regard to Vegas. Now, do Mike Adams and I have a crystal ball, or are we just that smart? The correct answer does not lie in either variable. Rather, Adams, Hodges and most of all Steve Quayle have a copy of the Luciferian inspired playbook in which they tell us what they are going to do.
We Have the Globalist Playbook
It is safe to say that we often know what the globalists are going to do before they do, because we fully understand the playbook that they operate from. In the early hours following the Vegas tragedy, I accurately predicted that the alleged perpetrator would be a lone-nut assassin who was white. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the Deep-State controlled MSM, the compromised FBI and the spineless Las Vegas Police leadership have followed that script to the letter.
Since that interview with Mike Adams, the George Soros inspired CALEXIT has emerged as a threat to both a threat to the American economy and political sovereignty. Both Paul Preston and I believe that the California fires are a deliberate attempt to destablize the Constitutional effort to make most of California the 51st state. There are 23 movements in America to get states to withdraw from the United States and 21 of them are controlled by George Soros who has partnered with foreign powers, most notably the United Nations, to make this happen. Here is my most recent interview with Paul Preston in which he dicusses these developments as well as the bio-terror of the Hepatitis A deadly outbreak that is consuming California and will soon be spreading across the country.
By the way, Youtube banned this interview which should tell one that Paul Preston has a lot of legitmacy.
This past Sunday, Steve Quayle was a guest on The Common Sense Show. There are so many highlights, in the following interview conducted on October 15, 2017, that accentuate what has been stated in this article, it is mind-numbing.
This interview of Steve, conducted by Bob Griswold and myself, reveals that Steve was predicting today’s events 25 years ago!
There are a couple of issues that stand out in the following interview. Steve told the audience what the occupation of America, by Chinese and Russian forces, will look like. Given Steve’s track record, all of us should pay close attention. The most remarkable revelation by Steve Quayle has to do with how to combat the growing Satanically inspired Deep State/globalist forces. Steve’s solution is simple and I have come to believe that it is the only viable alternative and it does not involve political action, but rather spiritual salvation. In other words America, we are quickly running out of options.
Whether it is Preston, Adams, Hodges, Hagmann(s), Jones, or Quayle, et al, we are all saying the same thing. And we have been saying the same things and have been overwhelmingly correct the vast majority of time. This is not an egotistical statement, we are correct because we know and understand our enemy.
Most people would enjoy the opportunity to decide how we will die. America has that choice as well. You have been exposed to all that you need to know to make the decision on how we are going to collectively die as a nation. I believe as most of my colleagues do that America, the government, is doomed. However, “America” is an idea that can live on inside of most of us. The original idea of America is based on the fear of God, adherence to the rule of law, and the living of a moral life as much as possible. The original of idea of what it means to be an American is certainly not what we have become.
We have a choice America perhaps we should start paying attention to what you are being told as we collectively turn off the mainstream media.
Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DaveHodges-TheCommonSenseShow/~3/lcn0eO50RTg/
Parents lead their children by example, and today’s youth are suffering in a big way because of their poor role models. America has an obesity epidemic, with more than a third of adults now falling into this category. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that childhood obesity is also skyrocketing given the bad example many parents are setting for their little ones. In fact, a new study shows that the number of obese kids and teens is a remarkable ten times higher than it was just 40 years ago, with the number of obese kids around the world reaching 124 million.
After analyzing data from 2,400 studies tracking the height and weight of 32 million kids between the ages of 5 and 19, it was estimated that 50 million girls and 74 million boys across the planet are obese. Poor nutrition and insufficient exercise were cited in the study as reasons for the problem.
Being obese isn’t just bad for kids’ health; it can also cause psychological and social problems for them. Obese kids may get bullied or suffer from low self-esteem, and it can also affect their performance in school.
Next generation of antidepressant, statin, and diabetes drug customers
It can also spur the early onset of problems like diabetes, heart disease and cancer, which is awfully convenient from Big Pharma’s point of view. In fact, obese children are good for business as far as they’re concerned, ensuring a future pool of patients who will be likely to buy their drugs to deal with the myriad health issues that being overweight causes.
Obese kids are more likely to suffer from depression, according to the CDC, so there will be a steady stream of future customers who they might be able to convince that expensive antidepressants are worth taking. When those drugs fail to work and cause side effects, they’ll be able to sell them even more drugs that might help counter those effects. They’ll also be able to sell more diabetes drugs to this group, whose parents were likely obese themselves and failed to set a good example and show them what a big difference eating healthy and exercising can make.
Childhood obesity could even have a negative impact on our military, with one nonprofit warning that 70 percent of teens in Colorado are ineligible for military service, largely because of their weight. Being overweight means potential recruits would be unable to keep up with the rest of the group, costing lives on the battlefield and putting fellow soldiers at risk.
With more than one out of every five young Americans being obese, a serious change is needed. In addition to an unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise, the World Health Organization said that the low price of unhealthy food compared to more nutritious alternatives was a big part of the problem.
Parents need to take responsibility for their kids’ weight
Parents need to take a more proactive approach when it comes to keeping their children at a healthy weight. It might be tempting for today’s overworked, frazzled parents to park their kids in front of the TV or a tablet while they get housework done, but the few minutes of peace this might buy you in the short term will almost certainly cause problems in the long run.
Parents need to be encouraging their kids to spend time outdoors and be more active, whether it’s by joining a sports team, dancing to their favorite songs, or simply walking around the neighborhood. They also need to prepare healthy meals. Those who are on a tight budget aren’t stuck buying cheap, unhealthy processed foods; they could try growing their own fruits and vegetables, for example, and making a fun family project out of it, which would have the added benefit of getting kids outside into the vitamin D-boosting sunshine and fresh air.
Yes, it requires a greater effort and most of us are already pressed for time, but it’s a worthwhile investment into your child’s future and longevity that will pay off in spades throughout their lifetime as they avoid many of the health issues and dangerous medications that their overweight peers will be subjected to.
America and France Reject Democratic Venezuelan Regional Election Results
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
It’s no surprise. Venezuela is the hemisphere’s leading democracy. America and France are fascist police states, partnering in imperial wars of aggression, serving their privileged class exclusively, repressing nonbelievers.
On Monday, the Latin American Council of Electoral Experts (CEELA) said Venezuela’s October 15 gubernatorial elections were open, free and fair.
“The vote took place peacefully and without problem. (It) reflects the will of (Venezuelan) citizens,” CEELA President Nicanor Moscoso explained.
Over 1,300 national and international observers monitored Sunday voting, saying it took place under conditions of “total normality,” no irregularities found, some minor technical glitches only, not affecting the process.
Opposition fascists illegitimately cried foul, how they always react to losing. CEELA said it received no formal complaints about Sunday’s process. No evidence shows any, just groundless opposition complaints through the media.
Maduro requested a 100% audit of the results – to prove they’re accurate. Bolivarian ones are the world’s best.
Despite CEELA praising Sunday’s process, Washington and France rejected them. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert lied, saying Sunday elections weren’t “free and fair. The voice of the Venezuelan people was not heard.”
Neocon US UN envoy Nikki Haley was worse, maliciously turning truth on its head in a vile statement saying:
“Yesterday, Venezuelans once again attempted to make their voices heard, and dictator Maduro once again tried to silence them through reported voter intimidation, manipulation, and obstruction.”
“An election is only legitimate if it is free and fair, and from the start, this was neither. There must be an audit of the electoral process. There must be respect for the will of the people. We continue to stand with the people of Venezuela.”
Fact: Venezuelan elections shame America’s money-controlled sham process.
Fact: Sunday elections were certified open, free and fair. No “voter intimidation, manipulation and obstruction” occurred.
Fact: Maduro is no dictator, what extremists in Washington like Haley call all democratic leaders.
Fact: Venezuelan officials respect the will of the people. America and other Western countries deny them fundamental rights.
Fact: America stands with Venezuelan opposition fascists, fundamentally against ordinary people everywhere – at home and abroad.
France Diplomatie is the official web site of the French government. It issued a deplorable statement saying:
“France is concerned by the announcement of the results of the regional elections in Venezuela.”
“The conditions for holding the elections are under dispute. Serious irregularities are being denounced and the lack of transparency in the verification and tabulation process is affecting confidence in the results.”
“France deplores this situation and is working with its EU partners to examine appropriate measures to help resolve the serious crisis affecting the country.”
The only crisis was externally created by Washington – waging political and economic war on the country, stoking violent street protests, imposing illegal sanctions, supporting Venezuelan fascists, rejecting Bolivarian social democracy.
VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at email@example.com.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
On Sunday, 60 Minutes interviewed several former U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) employees who came forward to blow the whistle, accusing several Fortune 500 drug distributor companies for the epidemic opiate overdoses.
For many years, Joe Rannazzisi was the head of the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control the division responsible for investigating the pharmaceutical industry consisting of pharmaceutical companies, distributors, pharmacies, as well as doctors and clinics which prescribe the highly-addictive opiates.
After years of investigations, his team finally believed they’d pinpointed the source of the abuse in the supply chain; the distributors. The DEA uncovered unscrupulous shipping of opiates to pharmacies in towns with small populations.
He had harsh criticisms for the opiate drug industry. He told correspondent Bill Whitaker:
This is an industry that’s out of control. What they wanna do, is do what they wanna do, and not worry about what the law is. And if they don’t follow the law in the drug supply, people die. That’s just it. People die. This is an industry that allowed millions and millions of drugs to go into bad pharmacies and doctors’ offices that distributed them out to people who had no legitimate need for those drugs.
Rannazzisi identified the big three he says are the major players who have been targeted by the DEA and who quickly learned how to push back, effectively winning their fight against the DEA’s oversight. He named Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen and claimed they control 90 percent of the opiate distribution in the U.S.
The former DEA agent called it “a fact” that these companies are killing people by continuing to distribute dangerous opiates to crooked pharmacies which simply sell the goods to bad actors. Rannazzisi equated the distribution of the opiates to a band of drug dealers who were worse than street dealers:
These weren’t kids slinging crack on the Corner. These were professionals who were doing it. They were just drug dealers in lab coats.
Under the Controlled Substances Act, the distributors are supposed to report and stop shipments of suspicious orders (large shipments of opioids to people who have no legitimate need for those quantities of drugs).
Even after the distributors were fined millions of dollars by the DEA, little was done to curb the problem. The pharmaceutical distributors pushed back by recruiting lawyers from within the DEA to come and work with their companies. In essence, the drug companies recruited the very same lawyers who were writing policy for the DEA and who knew their loopholes and how to get the DEA off of their backs.
Linden Barber, who used to work for the DEA, jumped ship and went to work for the Quarles and Brady’s Health Law Group, helping clients navigate through compliance issues with the DEA.
Barber drafted the Marino Bill and lobbied Congress to introduce the bill with Tom Marino (R-PA). The bill became law, after passing without objection in both the House and the Senate and was signed into law in 2016 by President Barack H. Obama. It is known as the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, a law which Rannazzisi claimed took away the DEA’s ability to reign in the unethical and illegal distribution of opiates to pharmacies which should not be receiving millions of pills of opiates only having a few residents to serve.
According to the Washington Post:
The new law makes it virtually impossible for the DEA to freeze suspicious narcotic shipments from the companies.
Marino then turned his attention to Rannazzisi. He asked the DEA to open an investigation into the head of the office of diversion claiming he was attempting to intimidate Congress. Rannazzisi was ultimately stripped of his supervisory leadership and he eventually resigned.
Now, according to the former DEA agent, no one up the supply chain can be held accountable for increased diversion of dangerous and addictive narcotics. Rannazzisi said now no one in a drug company can be held liable for negligence in protecting the controlled substances.
Marino, the Congressman who made it all possible, has now been nominated to be President Donald Trump’s drug czar. In other words, the lawmaker who helped get the DEA off the backs of the drug distributors is now supposedly going to be responsible for safeguarding the nation’s supply of controlled substances and making sure the drugs are not abused. For those families who have lost a loved one to an opiate overdose, having Marino as the drug czar may not be very comforting. After all, he was lobbied by the very industry which manufactures and distributes the very drugs which killed their loved ones.
In the end, Rannazzisi told Bill Whitaker:
The drug industry, the manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and chain drugstores, have an influence over Congress that has never been seen before
As TFTP has reported, more Americans died in opiate and related heroin overdoes in 2016 than in the entire Vietnam War. It is an epidemic. And in the last decade, 200,000 Americans have died from prescription opioid overdoses. It is killing more Americans than guns or automobile accidents, and no one is doing anything about it. According to Rannazzisi, the DEA’s hands are now tied to plug the holes in the supply chain. The WAPO concluded, “Overdose deaths continue to rise. There is no end in sight.”
Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/ex-dea-agent-exposes-opioid-congress/
Nearly two weeks after the Las Vegas shooting, Americans are still searching for answers as to what happened on that tragic night. In the midst of a range of theories, the internet noted the proximity between a U.S. ally’s government during both this terrorist attack and the 9/11 attacks.
Saudi Arabia is considered a close United States ally, despite an extensive record of human rights abuses. Since 2007, Saudi’s Kingdom Holding Company has owned 45 percent of the stock in the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Another 45 percent of the stock is owned by Cascade Investment Management, a company controlled by Bill Gates. In 2010, KHC and Cascade worked together to make the Four Seasons private.
In Las Vegas, the top six floors of the Mandalay Bay Hotel are owned by the Four Seasons. This hotel became the subject of a deadly terror attack when suspect Stephen Paddock reportedly opened fire out of the windows of his suite on the 32nd floor, sending a spree of bullets down to a crowd of around 22,000 people at a music festival across the street.
While it may have been pure coincidence that a man intent on carrying out a massacre, happened to rent a hotel room near a floor owned by the Saudi Royal Family, there is one important factor: When the Saudi Air Force visited Las Vegas recently, they did not stay at Mandalay Bay—the hotel in which they own 45 percent of the top six floors.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that a “Middle East Air Force” booked the entire W Las Vegas hotel for the month of August, and sources noted that it was the Royal Saudi Air Force. This raises the question of why the members did not stay at the Four Seasons at Mandalay Bay, when half of the stock is owned by the kingdom, and it is typically their location of choice.
It has been two weeks since the Las Vegas shooting occurred, and there are still a number of questions surrounding how Paddock was able to carry out the attack in the way the FBI claims. Within hours of the shootings, the official narrative was that Paddock was a “lone wolf” terrorist—despite several witness accounts of multiple shooters.
The surveillance footage, which surely exists as Paddock was staying at a hotel in Las Vegas, has still not been released, and evidence has yet to be presented showing that he worked alone in transferring dozens of rifles, thousands of rounds of ammunition and other supplies up to his hotel room.
There remains the question of whether Paddock, who was described by his brother as the opposite of a “gun guy,” had help in obtaining the arsenal of weapons, or in carrying out the attack.
WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange suggested that the FBI could be involved, and he noted that the FBI’s business model is to stage terror plots so their agents can swoop in and save the day by foiling the plot they created.
The question of whether Saudi Arabia could be involved stems from President Trump’s leniency towards the U.S. ally, and from the questions of Saudi Kingdom involvement that arose after 9/11.
As The Free Thought Project reported, in July, a federal judge in Miami reversed her decision to push for the release of crucial documents revealing information on the funding of the 9/11 attacks. The information, which stemmed from a 2002 FBI report, is said to have included evidence of “many connections” between the Saudi family and “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001.”
It was also revealed last year, after the infamous 28-pages were declassified, that the Saudi government aided the 9/11 terrorists.
The fact is that no matter what theories turn out to be true regarding the Las Vegas shooting, police have begun making massive reversals in the original narrative that was initially given, and with each crucial detail that is changed, it serves as a reminder that this case is not yet closed, and Americans have the right to push for the truth to come to light.
Copyright Information: This article was reprinted with permission from thefreethoughtsproject.com. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.
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“The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation-states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.” Samuel Huntington, Clash of Civilizations
After reading the first two parts of this four part series on the coming break up of America, you’re probably heartsick or sick to your stomach. You may feel the invasion quickening in every corner of the country. It’s not your imagination, either. This nation-destroying nightmare accelerates toward you, your friends and your state. It’s no longer California, Minneapolis, Miami or Detroit’s problem; it’s in your community.
Thomas W. Chittum, author of, “CIVIL WAR II: THE COMING BREAKUP OF AMERICA,” brings concrete historical evidence to the impending conflicts in America. By looking around, you, the average American, can see this tragedy building.
If you’re not living in California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Miami, Florida, Georgia, New York, Detroit, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois—you might not see it—but it’s coming and it’s coming fast. It’s reaching into Twin Falls, Idaho where our federal government plants another 5,000 refugees, and on and on, into every corner of our society.
Chittum states, “Street gangs will doubtless form the core of future black and Hispanic urban militias…consider the following…they are well financed by the drug trade…they are ethnically oriented…are heavily armed…organized and disciplined…and numerous beyond belief.”
That statement is born out by latest statistics whereby 29 percent of our state and federal prisons are filled with legal and illegal immigrants. Former Attorney General Janet Reno put gang member totals on our streets at 500,000. Chittum states, “Their leadership is composed of courageous, industrious and intelligent men because promotion is based on leadership, business acumen and application of ruthless violence.”
When you look at the massive $50 billion annual drug trade infecting this country, it’s evident. “These urban gangs are evolving into serious armies, armies hostile to the established government.” It’s why thousands of Californians flee their state annually. In Miami, American citizens fled north. Detroit fast becomes an Islamic caliphate, i.e., a country within our country. Fremont, California known as ‘Little Kabul’ tips toward an exclusive Middle Eastern in population. Los Angeles can no longer pretend to be an American city.
As their numbers grow, police can’t touch them because of “Special Order 40” which gives them immunity from arrest and deportation. Additionally, Governor Jerry Brown, last week, signed a state-wide protective “Sanctuary State” bill that prohibits ICE from arresting and deporting illegal aliens—of which California houses somewhere between 3 and 4 million of them. Brown protects criminal aliens that kill American citizens, rape, burglarize, distribute drugs, shoplift and overwhelm our welfare services. Brown’s action stand as outright anarchy against our federal laws.
Such Governors as John Hickenlooper, Colorado and Andrew Cuomo of New York directly break immigration laws by passing ordinances encouraging more illegal aliens and giving them sanctuary. The governor of Minnesota openly encourages massive illegal alien importation. He’s pushed by meatpacking plant owners who openly hire illegal aliens such as Hormel. Austin, Minnesota suffers from over 3,000 illegal aliens working in the meatpacking plants. Citizens are left without jobs while a few people make millions at the top. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel openly invites illegals into his city with promises of total immunity from law enforcement. The mayors of Boulder and Denver, Colorado openly encourage illegal aliens with sanctuary laws in his city. At one point, eight women were raped by illegals, but the Boulder council continues supporting their presence in the city with jobs and housing. Immigration lawyers in Boulder brazenly present classes on how to avoid arrest and deportation for illegals. It’s astounding our own civic leaders aid, assist and abet this invasion against federal law.
America cannot become the “charity ward” for the world’s desperate people. We cannot degrade our citizens for Mexico’s poor. We cannot save Africa’s refugees when we suffer 13 million American children living in poverty. We cannot pay for immigrants’ food, housing and education when we’re $20 trillion in national debt. By deporting all illegal aliens, we can give those jobs to American citizens at a living wage. It’s time to change the ‘good ole boy’ network of corruption in DC by turning to an action leader like Trump. Otherwise, it will all get worse until we collapse into a multicultural-diversity nightmare of overpopulation and sociological chaos.
“Diversity within a nation destroys unity and leads to civil wars,” said social scientist Garret Hardin. “Immigration, a benefit during the youth of a nation, can act as a disease in its mature state. Too much internal diversity in large nations has led to violence and disintegration. We are now in the process of destabilizing our own country. The magic words of destabilizers are ‘diversity’ and ‘multiculturalism’.”
These illegal gangs prove lethal. From a Johnstown, Pennsylvania, U.S. Justice Department “Street Gang Symposium”: “Some gangs have access to highly sophisticated personal weapons such as grenades, machine guns, rocket launchers and military explosives.”
“When civil authority breaks down in America,” Chittum states, “our criminal gangs will fill the power vacuum, just exactly as has been the pattern in Third World countries.”
The anti-American gang called “Antifa” expects to attack government buildings and President Trump on November 4, 2017.
Part 4: Sobering realities we face. Solutions to enact.
If you would like me to speak at/in your city, conference, social group or clubs about the consequences of mass immigration into America, please contact me. My program: “The Perfect Storm Descending Upon America” articulates the consequences of adding 100,000,000 (million) legal immigrants to America within the next 30 years. It spells out what we face as to shortages in water, energy and resources. It spells out the sociological chaos created by mixing 196 (the number of countries exporting their citizens into our country) different cultures, languages, religions and worldviews from those 100 million immigrants. It illustrates our dilemma as environmental and quality of life consequences.
Additionally, if you would like me to speak on your local radio talk show, please give them my name, topic and contact information. Or give me theirs and I will contact them: firstname.lastname@example.org , www.HowToLiveALifeOfAdventure.com Facebook: Frosty Wooldridge
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In a five minute astoundingly simple yet brilliant video, “Immigration, Poverty, and Gum Balls“, Roy Beck, director of www.numbersusa.ORG, graphically illustrates the impact of overpopulation. Take five minutes to see for yourself:
“Immigration by the numbers—off the chart” by Roy Beck
This 10 minute demonstration shows Americans the results of unending mass immigration on the quality of life and sustainability for future generations: in a few words, “Mind boggling!” www.NumbersUSA.org
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Bank of America on Friday reported larger profits in the third quarter, as the Charlotte-based company further reduced its headcount and continued to slash expenses.
The bank said profits totaled $5.6 billion, an increase of 13 percent from the same period last year. It was the best performance in six years. Friday’s year-over-year improvement came as the bank grew revenues 1 percent – but also lowered its headcount by more than 1,000 in another quarter of cost-cutting, which has remained a top priority for CEO Brian Moynihan.
Executives Friday also touted how Bank of America continues to benefit from Moynihan’s ongoing focus on “responsible growth,” a strategy that has included doing more business with existing customers and operating within a certain appetite for risk.
Net income totaled 48 cents a share, beating the average estimate of 26 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg of 46 cents. In a report Friday, Barclays analyst Jason Goldberg said expenses “continued to be well controlled” but that fee income “was a tad light.”
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1. International Order — the new German-American conflicts of interest
One of the new German government’s premier challenges will be to manage the trans-Atlantic relationship during Donald Trump’s presidency. Its success in this endeavor will be one way to measure its overall performance. We, a group of foreign policy experts from civil society, would like to offer some ideas.
The liberal world order with its foundation in multilateralism, its global norms and values, its open societies and markets — is in danger. It is exactly this order on which Germany’s freedom and prosperity depend. The order is being challenged from various directions and sources: Rising powers strive for influence; illiberal governments and authoritarian regimes are ascending; anti-modern thinking is gaining traction and influence even within Western democracies; Russia is challenging the peaceful European order; and new technologies are disrupting old economic structures.
Lastly, the United States, inventor and — until recently — guardian of the liberal order, currently does not see itself as system guarantor. Donald Trump is the first United States president since World War II to fundamentally question the ideas and institutions of the liberal international order. He opposes this order by advocating a system of raw power and national interest. In his alternative system, small and medium-sized countries play a role as dependent and secondary actors. Donald Trump is skeptical of any and all of the United States’ commitments to multilateral institutions and norms.
With its preference for stable treaty-based alliances and long-term multilateral commitments, Germany sees the current international order as a cornerstone of its foreign policy. For Germany, Donald Trump’s foreign policy creates a previously unknown conflict of interest with its most important ally.
Since Germany’s as well as Europe’s security and affluence rest upon the current international order even as President Trump charts a different course for the United States, an increased responsibility falls to the European Union and its member state Germany to safeguard and strengthen the international order.
2. A president sui generis
It is impossible to ignore that President Trump was able to attract the support of 60 million voters. It is also true that unilateral foreign policy, protectionist moods, and periodic calls for “America first” policies have a long tradition in the United States. Still, Donald Trump is a president sui generis whose ideas about international order do not fit within the modern American politician tradition. These ideas are supported by few in the United States. His disdain for international alliances and institutions is not even shared by many in the government he leads, much less by those outside of government. Donald Trump’s positions on global order are outside the mainstream of the foreign policy expert community in the United States. It is unclear, maybe even unlikely, that his strategy of undermining the international order will ever succeed in the United States and become his country’s policy.
3. Dangerous consequences
Some analysts and political actors in Germany would like to draw far-reaching conclusions from this period of uncertainty about the direction of the United States. They endorse a strategic reorientation for Germany. Some strive to decouple Europe’s foreign and security policy from the United States. Others place their faith in a German-French mini version of Europe. Sometimes, European aspirations only disguise German nationalism as a response to American nationalism. Some recommend that Germany should focus on ad hoc coalitions or maintain equidistance between Russia and the United States. Some even recommend that Germany should go further, and align itself with Russia or China in the future.
All of these propositions are costly or dangerous — or both.
4. The United States remains indispensable
Turning away from the United States would bring insecurity to Germany and ultimately to Europe.
The bond with the United States was born from dependence, but it has long been in Germany’s core national interest. Today, no other actor in the world can offer the same advantages to Germany that it gains from its alliance with the United States. No other power takes on such far-reaching security guarantees and offers such comprehensive political resources.
As a liberal hegemon, the United States made European integration possible. The majority of the political establishment in the United States continues to see the country as a supporter of European integration — also because it suits its own interest. The country needs allies that share its values and interests.
If Germany wants to be an effective actor in Europe, it needs the United States. If the ties to the United States are cut, with them go the reassurance that other European countries need in order to accept a strong Germany in the center of the continent. The more leadership that Germany can and should take on, the closer the coordination must be with the United States.
Decoupling from the United States would fundamentally question one of the most important political and cultural achievements of the past 70 years: Germany’s integration in the West.
In aligning itself with the West, Germany also committed itself to the values of freedom and democracy, and to cooperation with all those who stand for these values. Freedom is the precondition for human beings to lead a self-determined and dignified live. Germany has committed itself to this set of ideas in its constitution, the Basic Law. Its anchoring in the West gave Germany the steadfastness to resist the Communist regimes and make possible German and European reunification. A departure from this trans-Atlantic orientation will renew the threat of a special path (Sonderweg) of Germany, it will strengthen nationalists on the left and the right, and it will endanger the peaceful European order.
The West, even today, does not exist without the United States, neither as a concept, nor as a political subject. America is the anchor of liberal universalism and the open world order. Even if Donald Trump’s presidency carries significant risks for the liberal order, these perils will not diminish if Germany puts its strategic partnership with the United States at stake. A strategic decoupling from the United States would ultimately endanger the liberal international order more than prudent cooperation with a United States whose leadership currently rattles this order. Autocracies such as China and Russia can be important ad hoc partners for single projects; the United States, however, must remain the strategic partner for a democratic and European Germany.
The relationship with the United States is a values-based partnership built on our democratic political systems. Even if the current United States president challenges significant elements of the political system, the United States remains a democracy. President Trump is not America, nor is the illiberal movement for which he stands a solely American phenomenon. In Europe, too, it has made its mark. What we see today is not a divergence between Europe and the United States; it is a conflict within the West unfolding on both sides of the Atlantic.
Finally, the economic, scientific and cultural linkages with the United States are far stronger than with any other region in the world. The interplay with the United States remains a central element of Europe’s capacity for innovation.
5. Yet, no business as usual
So, how do we engage with the United States in times of Donald Trump?
Even if turning away from the United States is not a responsible option for Germany, business as usual is not an option with the current presidency either. It would be equally unhelpful to stay silent and look the other way, waiting until this presidency is finally over and a successor occupies the White House. Four or even eight years is too long to sit it out, especially since there will not be a return to the supposed good old times.
6. Ideas for a new U.S. Strategy
German policy now requires something that it did not need before: a United States strategy.
A responsible policy toward the United States must be long-term and build a bridge into the post-Trump age. This policy must look beyond an exceptional period of American skepticism toward any multilateral commitment. However, Germany must not fall prey to the illusion that there will be a return to the status quo ante following the Trump presidency. Several political trends in the United States will outlive Trump’s time in office — for example, the demand for more balanced burden-sharing between Europe and the United States within NATO. However, the end of the Trump presidency should be the end of the inner Western conflict about the fundamentals of the world order. Once this fundamental consensus is re-established, policy disagreements can be resolved or bridged more easily and more constructively.
This long-term goal must be the point of reference for Germany’s short-term engagement with the Trump administration.
In the short term, Germany must learn to distinguish between the problems that are solvable, those that are unsolvable and those in between that require pragmatic management.
It goes without saying that the German government should double down on those policy areas where it finds common ground with the current United States administration. But successful relationship management in times of Donald Trump may also require adjusting an increasingly untenable position or — vice versa — to enter into a limited conflict. Finally, we will need to look for partners not only at the highest federal levels, but elsewhere in the administration, in the United States Congress, in the states, in civil society and in business.
It will be more important than ever to manage differences responsibly. In its own long-term interest, Germany should attempt to handle these differences with the Trump administration in such a way that does not escalate them or allow them to spiral out of control.
Germany should not succumb to illusions: Large-scale joint projects with the Trump administration will have little chance for success in policy areas that are central to President Trump’s populist agenda. Trying to do too much in these key policy areas will only cause new disagreements.
In short, Germany’s United States strategy must allow for multitasking: to actively pursue key national interests in collaboration with the United States, to moderate conflicts, to avoid unrealistic ambitions and to thus build a bridge to a better future for trans-Atlantic relations.
This nuanced approach will have different consequences for the different policy areas.
7. Trade policy — aim only for conflict management
Soberingly, the signs are not favorable for larger projects in several policy areas that would actually be vital, such as trade policy. Despite all controversies, the strategic and economic reasons for a trans-Atlantic free trade agreement (TTIP) have not disappeared since November 2016. Some in Berlin and Brussels hope that one can resurrect TTIP in an adapted version. This idea is illusory, maybe even dangerous. A president who castigates all free-trade agreements as unfair toward the United States will not easily compromise in international negotiations. A negotiating failure will be more devastating to the project than a long hibernation.
There are signs already that the United States and the European Union might be headed toward trade disputes. The European Union must react to punitive tariffs. But it should do so exclusively in a legal, proportional and symmetrical manner. Everything else could trigger an unwanted escalation.
8. International refugee policy — no chance for a joint vision
Joint initiatives regarding international refugee policy do not look very promising either. The global system of protection, however, urgently needs to be reformed to cope with modern conditions. The rights of refugees need to be protected, while illegal migration needs to be curtailed and organized trafficking should be combated so that the universal refugee system is not undermined. Equally important will be a push toward new and improved United Nations’ resettlement programs. However, it appears difficult to imagine that the Trump administration will agree to such initiatives. Consequently, Europe must become active itself here — as best as it can.
Therefore, trade and refugee policies fall in the category of currently difficult, hardly resolvable issues. The best we can expect is limited progress, but no large-scale initiatives.
9. Security policy — strive for progress, also with President Trump
Security policy is a different matter. Without the United States there will be no security for and in Germany for the foreseeable future. This applies to territorial as well as alliance defense within NATO, but also to nuclear deterrence, to combating cybercrimes and money laundering, and finally to counterterrorism and the cooperation of intelligence agencies. No single European country, nor Germany, nor any other country nor the European Union can provide the necessary resources to guarantee the continent’s security. Therefore, the existing cooperation must be strengthened. Remaining committed to NATO also provides a way to integrate the United States into the structures of multilateral security policy and may dissuade Washington from going it alone.
Alliance defense is the most cost-effective form of defense. Germany should thus take seriously the call for fairer burden-sharing within the alliance. Acting against its own core interest, Germany has not done enough in this respect. Germany still has a long way to go until its NATO goals and commitments are met. To be clear: Germany agreed to increase its defense expenditures toward 2 percent of its gross domestic product. Germany should keep its word. To present this commitment as a threat to the military balance in European is to get it backward. It is precisely our European neighbors and partners that are asking for more German commitment within the NATO framework and within European defense policy.
It would be even better if Germany were to invest an extra percentage point of G.D.P. into development assistance, international police operations, United Nations missions, conflict prevention and diplomacy. With this linkage, nonmilitary aspects of security would also be upgraded. This would substantially strengthen European defense capabilities within the trans-Atlantic alliance. Germany would do something that is in its own interest and would stabilize the trans-Atlantic alliance at the same time. It would address concerns of the Trump administration and build good will for the time after Donald Trump. The chances of success for this strategy are high: Despite all of the skeptical rhetoric about NATO, the Trump administration has fulfilled America’s NATO commitments so far.
Security policy cooperation with the Trump government should be central to Germany and should also include security guarantees for the central and eastern European NATO members, support for an independent Ukraine, as well as the stabilization of the North African coast.
In the conflict over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the uncertainties around future Iran policy, a trans-Atlantic schism should be avoided. We should do whatever possible to convince the Trump administration of joint approaches.
10. Energy security policy — giving up Nord Stream 2 is in Germany’s interest
There is one more policy area in which the German government should reconsider its position to open the door for productive cooperation: energy security policy. The United States has identified Nord Stream 2, the planned pipeline running through the Baltic Sea to Russia, as a geostrategic project. They are correct. More important: This pipeline project is not in the joint European interest. Nord Stream 2 contradicts a policy of greater energy independence and undermines the envisaged European Energy Union. We should try to identify a joint approach with our European partners and the United States.
11. Climate, energy and digital policy — manage conflicts responsibly
After addressing the solvable issues and set aside the unsolvable issues for now, one will need to turn to those policy areas that require responsible conflict management. It would be useless to try to convince the United States administration of the importance of the Paris climate agreement, but it is equally wrongheaded to isolate President Trump on international climate and energy policy. Necessary criticism should not turn into dogmatism.
Instead, Germany should seek concrete steps forward in climate protection together with the United States. Germany does not need President Trump in order to engage with partners who are interested in climate policy cooperation. A number of states (not just California) and large cities are already rapidly reducing their CO2 emissions. Political, scientific and technical cooperation with local partners is possible. There is no shortage of potent allies on climate policy in the United States, in the private sector as well as in civil society. Here, the key is to be proactive, to invest money and to build networks that will endure and outlast the Trump administration.
Digital policy is another policy area where confrontation is possible — about regulatory questions as well as about market shares. It is important to identify points of contention as soon as possible and to avoid unnecessary escalation. Sealing off Europe’s and the United States’ digital markets from each other will seriously damage the outlook for jobs and growth on both sides of the Atlantic. European consumer and data protection standards might be able to be maintained globally if they have United States support, but certainly not without it.
12. Final point — more Europe within the Alliance
Making progress with the Trump administration wherever possible, moderating conflicts and avoiding escalation, expanding the spectrum of trans-Atlantic partners beyond the current United States administration — these are all core aims of a United States strategy that can preserve the trans-Atlantic partnership with and if necessary against this American president, and function beyond his time in office. The United States has proved its capacity for self-correction repeatedly. America remains the indispensable power for those countries that stand for freedom and democracy and strive for an open world order. But Europe — and thus Germany — must do more to support and preserve these values. More European self-reliance is imperative. It would be an error of historical proportions to play out “more Europe” against the trans-Atlantic alliance. The new German government’s foreign policy will be measured by how clearly it pursues this course.
• Deidre Berger, Ramer Institute, American Jewish Committee, Berlin
• James D. Bindenagel, Center for International Security and Governance, University of Bonn
• Ralf Fücks, Centre for Liberal Modernity, Berlin
• Patrick Keller, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Berlin
• Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Berlin
• Anna Kuchenbecker, Aspen Institute Deutschland, Berlin
• Sergey Lagodinsky, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Berlin
• Rüdiger Lentz, Aspen Institute Deutschland, Berlin
• Daniela Schwarzer, German Council on Foreign Relations, Berlin
• Jan Techau, Richard C. Holbrooke Forum, American Academy, Berlin
• Sylke Tempel, German Council on Foreign Relations, Internationale Politik Magazine, Berlin
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